Acclaimed singer/songwriter B.J. Thomas died at age 78 Saturday due to complications with stage four lung cancer. Known for his distinctive voice, rich and full of character, Thomas enjoyed a decades-long career, selling over 70 million albums worldwide and winning five Grammy awards.
Most notable for performing the Oscar-winning “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head,” Thomas also earned success with hits like “Hooked On A Feeling” and a rendition of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” that reached the number-eight spot on the pop charts and sold over a million copies upon its release in 1966.
A dark period in his life turned him to embrace gospel music, where he’d enjoy further success before transitioning into country and acoustic in his later years. His final release, The Living Room Sessions, found the consummate showman performing some of his most iconic songs of his career with multiple collaborators for the last time.
He’s survived by his wife of 53 years, Gloria; their three daughters, Paige Thomas, Nora Cloud and Erin Moore; and four grandchildren, Nadia Cloud, Keira Cloud, Ruby Moore and Billy Joe Moore.
Listen to a 1984 Thomas performance from the Paste archives below.